He’s Just Not That Into You: Rejection in Close Relationships
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This study investigates the cognitive and emotional effects of individuals rejected by close friends. Although the effects of rejection have been studied extensively in the laboratory between strangers or new acquaintances, this study is one of the first to explore rejection within the context of adult friendships. In experiment 1, participants read a scenario in which they visualize themselves ostracized by a close friend or an acquaintance. Participants were then measured on the four primary needs and affect. In experiment 2, intimate and non-intimate relationships were artificially created through the Fast Friends exercise. Participants then either experienced rejection when their partner supposedly did not wish to continue working with them or were informed the study could not continue because their partner had to leave early. Participants then filled out self-evaluation measures on their ability to create friendships and their general affect. Both experiments failed to find significant results to support the hypothesis that rejection by a close friend hurts more than by an acquaintance. The lack of significant finding may be partially due to the experimental manipulation being too weak in experiment 1 and a failure to fully believe the experimental rejection manipulation in experiment 2.
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